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Old 11-17-2017, 08:27 PM   #1401
citylover94
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

This is really a crazy transit pitch but considering how much of a problem capacity seems to be for the red line and since headways are limited by the Harvard curve would it make sense to look into expanding the stations to fit 8 car trains and would that add enough capacity to make much of a difference?
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:55 PM   #1402
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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AFAIK, the new trains won't significantly increase capacity. Signal upgrades will help some and should, combined with the new cars, fix some of the chronic breakdowns. Still, the headways on the Red Line are governed by the Harvard curve; there's not a lot of frequency to add. The current problem is that trains are stuffed full by the time they get to Central during the rush. Some of that clears out at Kendall, but it's becoming laughable to call new housing along the Red Line northside "Transit Oriented Development", when said transit is at or beyond capacity during the rush. My point about the garage is that adding more rides to Alewife is unproductive without more capacity expansion and ridership spreading. Which gets out of "reasonable" transit pitch territory. Northside residential growth in Cambridge and beyond into the 'burbs, combined with pressures of the Rte 2 - Kendall commute is just too great.

The planned GLX will help some, by getting some Somerville bus-to-train riders off of the Red Line. Getting it to Mystic Valley Pkwy and directing some busses there from Arlington would also help.

The problem has to ultimately be thrown back to Crazy Transit Pitches... GLX from Union to Porter. Getting downtown (and some Back Bay) commuters off of the Red Line between Porter and Park would help Red's capacity problems in Cambridge a lot.
The MBTA predicts that the new rolling stock (full fleet replacement) will allow them to run 20 trains hour vs the current 13, which is a pretty big capacity upgrade.
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:07 PM   #1403
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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The MBTA predicts that the new rolling stock (full fleet replacement) will allow them to run 20 trains hour vs the current 13, which is a pretty big capacity upgrade.
On the Red? I guess I never realized that Red had capacity issues due to a shortage of trains. That's always been an Orange problem. 3 minute headways is 20trains/hr. Sometimes Red has 3min headways now. Maybe that's only on certain sections of the line, or is due to bunching, but that's about as tight as they can get with the Harvard Curve without backing up the system.

We'll see how it goes. I'm still skeptical that the existing T (particularly the Red between Harvard and Kendall) can handle all of the TOD (which I strongly support) without major capital projects.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #1404
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I don't think it is a shortage of trains for the red line I believe the issue is that the older trains stopping distance forces longer signal blocks which means less trains are able to run on the tracks. I think they are assuming that with new trains that brake better and an update to the signal system will give them the ability to run the additional trains.

Last edited by citylover94; 11-20-2017 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:29 AM   #1405
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

^ That's my understanding. New trains will:
1) accelerate faster
2) stop faster
3) dwell shorter (thanks to 4 doors that are also bigger)

So it's a story where faster throughput increases capacity without need of increasing the fleet size or train length.
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:01 PM   #1406
bakgwailo
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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^ That's my understanding. New trains will:
1) accelerate faster
2) stop faster
3) dwell shorter (thanks to 4 doors that are also bigger)

So it's a story where faster throughput increases capacity without need of increasing the fleet size or train length.
Yup, and they even claimed that its a bigger increase than redoing the signal system on the Red, which I thought was pretty interesting.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:00 PM   #1407
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Will be interesting to see how those predictions pan out. And whether the throughput increase is enough to keep up with ridership growth on the line in the coming years.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:44 AM   #1408
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Hey everyone! It's time for a new "Gold Line" map.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GH...2_&usp=sharing

Our maps for Seaport BRT generally use the Surface Artery and continue to Charlestown, but there's really no reason to do that. The Surface Artery (as others have noted) is indirect and really misses a lot of key trip generators, with the exception of the Aquarium. On the Charlestown side, there's just not much over there yet, again with the exception of some tourist hubs.

On the other hand, there's an enormous desire line from Kendall, to North Station, to South Station, to the Seaport. I drew that line, with a terminus at the Design Center to accommodate the transit-poor corporate headquarters currently going in there (and more of those in MP's office development in the next decade).

This routing - to be supported with all the best BRT accoutrements like all-door boarding, island bus stops, off-board payment, etc - could be largely paid for by the cities of Boston and Cambridge. Vehicles could be sponsored by companies - buy a bus = wrap it in your colors. If they're going to buy shuttles anyway and join together on shared shuttle services, why not just ask for their help with this?

The MBTA would need to be engaged for a maintenance facility. I drew it taking over the Red Line Test Track layover yard when that procurement is done, but it could also be built into the bowels of a BCEC addition. The layover yard on the Kendall end could simply take a corner of the new Volpe's parking lot.

I didn't draw this as continuing on to Allston on the GJ, but it could.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:31 AM   #1409
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I am not sure if this has been discussed before, but are there any ways the MBTA can speed up the Red Line on the Braintree branch?
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:12 AM   #1410
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Biggest challenge to the Gold Line would be enforcement of the bus lanes, or else it seems impossibly slow.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:36 AM   #1411
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Biggest challenge to the Gold Line would be enforcement of the bus lanes, or else it seems impossibly slow.
Enforcing them is easy. *Plowing* them is hard
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:55 PM   #1412
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Something like that Gold Line must happen. I might send it to the Airport and Central
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:00 PM   #1413
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by mass88 View Post
I am not sure if this has been discussed before, but are there any ways the MBTA can speed up the Red Line on the Braintree branch?
Maybe some rush hour trains that bypass Broadway and Andrew. Braintree Express trains.

Last edited by tysmith95; 01-21-2018 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #1414
Equilibria
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Something like that Gold Line must happen. I might send it to the Airport and Central
I think it's most likely to happen if the MBTA isn't involved, honestly. This needs to be a cooperative thing between Boston, Cambridge, and employers.

BRT works well for that because the infrastructure is easily segmented and branded. Buy a bus? Wrap a bus. Sponsor a station? Cover it in your brand. Everything has a predictable price. Operating costs would need to be covered by the cities, or maybe that's where the T comes in, but station and bus sponsorship could have 5-year terms or something. Pay into a fund for maintenance.

It's the Las Vegas Monorail, but with tech companies instead of casinos.

I wouldn't send this to Central - where I live - because that makes it harder to cover the whole Binney loop, including the new Volpe. If you do Volpe, you miss the T station, and vice versa.

I didn't include the airport because I'm banking on a transfer hub at Silver Line Way. The Silver Line gets screwed by having to do both the BDC and the airport (or more accurately the BDC gets screwed by the Silver Line being so focused on the airport), so I decided to pick one and assume that Reebok et. al. will justify the service out to Drydock. Also, the lack of airport service means that you don't need luggage racks in the buses.

Also, Reebok would be one of my first targets to sponsor a station and bus .

Last edited by Equilibria; 01-21-2018 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:32 AM   #1415
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Just a devil's advocate point about this Gold Line heading to Kendall. Yes, there's a nice high tech industry axis that goes from Kendall to Seaport. But the Red Line reproduces most of that axis except for the last 1/2 mile, so I don't think very much of anyone's going to board the bus for the full length of that route.

I think a route that connects Seaport, South Station and North Station - and then, yes, Charlestown, which I believe warrants greater connectivity - would be a much bigger win both for better connectivity and new ridership.

EDIT - I posted this in the Seaport Transportation thread a few months back:
http://www.archboston.org/community/...t=4647&page=32

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Old 01-22-2018, 10:15 AM   #1416
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I think a route that connects Seaport, South Station and North Station - and then, yes, Charlestown, which I believe warrants greater connectivity - would be a much bigger win both for better connectivity and new ridership.
I was onboard with Charlestown for a long time, but I just don't think there's anything there except for people (which is important, yes). Not enough major employers. Also, there's no there there along the Greenway when it comes to jobs and the bus lane would have to keep contending with entrance and exit ramps. Post Office Square and Bulfinch Crossing are better destinations. I wouldn't use the Surface Artery at all for this.

The Kendall routing also serves as one-seat from Kendall to Lechmere, North Station, Haymarket, and Government Center. None of those are served by the Red Line, though that sequence is of course served by the Green Line.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:45 AM   #1417
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Maybe we can agree to disagree, but I don't see the Greenway as being a nowhereville. It runs adjacent to very dense parts of the Financial District that don't have as great T access now, and it also runs next to major tourist destinations and the North End.

Also, I would expect BRT along the Greenway corridor to be a placemaking opportunity in itself to help define the Greenway as a real transit-and-pedestrian corridor. Further, it will calm SOV traffic. I think it would be a wasted opportunity to run BRT over Congress rather than the Greenway.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:02 AM   #1418
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Maybe we can agree to disagree, but I don't see the Greenway as being a nowhereville. It runs adjacent to very dense parts of the Financial District that don't have as great T access now, and it also runs next to major tourist destinations and the North End.

Also, I would expect BRT along the Greenway corridor to be a placemaking opportunity in itself to help define the Greenway as a real transit-and-pedestrian corridor. Further, it will calm SOV traffic. I think it would be a wasted opportunity to run BRT over Congress rather than the Greenway.
I'm always willing to agree to disagree . I'm not sure traffic calming on the Surface Artery is realistic. There's just too much Interstate on/off there. Cars trying to get across 2 or 3 lanes because they weren't looking for the on-ramp entrance *right there*.

I also see the benefit of this idea as: it's a strong sell. I don't think it's as strong a sell to potential sponsors to divert one end from Kendall, and I don't think it's as strong a sell to divert away from the center of the business district in order to engage in placemaking. Those are the MBTA's jobs. I don't see this as an MBTA line.

Also, the areas of the Financial District that don't have good T access are all centered around Post Office Square, which should *always* have had T access going back a hundred years. The missed opportunity to serve that, IMO, is far greater than the one on the Greenway. As you move further north, you hit the State/Aquarium Blue Line catchment, so I wouldn't call anything north of Milk St. "underserved."
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:32 AM   #1419
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I was onboard with Charlestown for a long time, but I just don't think there's anything there except for people (which is important, yes). Not enough major employers. Also, there's no there there along the Greenway when it comes to jobs and the bus lane would have to keep contending with entrance and exit ramps. Post Office Square and Bulfinch Crossing are better destinations. I wouldn't use the Surface Artery at all for this.

The Kendall routing also serves as one-seat from Kendall to Lechmere, North Station, Haymarket, and Government Center. None of those are served by the Red Line, though that sequence is of course served by the Green Line.
Kendall to Lechmere and North Station absolutely needs better treatment. Adding Haymarket and GC would not be my top priorities, but they are icing on the cake. In general, I like this routing. Surface Road is too close to the water (low catchment) and has too many direct conflicts with the ramps.

The beauty of this line isn't so much that anyone would ride it end-to-end, as that it is composed of 2 overlapping lines - Kendall to GC via NS and NS to Seaport. Both of those are important enough (today and more so into the future) to deserve a major line designation on the transit map. I wonder though, if operationally they would work better being separate? Allegedly, dedicated lanes would solve any concerns about getting bogged down in traffic.

I think to understand Charlestown bus service improvements, you first have to understand Chelsea bus service. I don't have that firsthand knowledge.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:04 PM   #1420
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Just a devil's advocate point about this Gold Line heading to Kendall. Yes, there's a nice high tech industry axis that goes from Kendall to Seaport. But the Red Line reproduces most of that axis except for the last 1/2 mile, so I don't think very much of anyone's going to board the bus for the full length of that route. .
Kendall is a very large area that is not all that well served by the red line. There are major employment centers such as tech sq., Pfizer, Takeda, Novartis, one Kendall, new binney corridor, that are all 1/2 mile or more walks from either Kendall or central. This area could easily use a parallel service to shift the load and better deliver people to their destinations.

I do that half mile walk to tech sq. Everyday, and it's not awful, but it would suck to even add the extra a few minutes to OKS or the new met pipe development. 320 bent street, etc.

The greater Kendall area if you will, goes well beyond the square that is super well serve by the red line.
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